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Thursday, 6 April 2017

EFG Hermes says Dubai theme parks operator faces challenge to meet visitor count forecast | The National

EFG Hermes says Dubai theme parks operator faces challenge to meet visitor count forecast | The National:

"It will be challenging for Dubai’s largest theme park complex to meet its own forecasts for visitor numbers this year, according to analysts at EFG Hermes. DXB Entertainments, which owns Dubai Parks and Resorts, expects 7.5 million visits annually between this year and 2019, or 20,500 daily visits, according to the company. EFG said that hitting these targets will take longer than the management expects."



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Oman says banks should be extra vigilant on property, personal loans | GulfNews.com

Oman says banks should be extra vigilant on property, personal loans | GulfNews.com:

"A senior central banker in Oman has called on the country’s banks to be extra-vigilant about their exposure to sensitive sectors such as real estate as the Gulf state copes with the impact of lower oil prices. Oman’s finances have been hit hard by the plunge in fuel prices since 2014. Qais Al Yahyaei, head of the financial stability department of the Central Bank of Oman, made his comments at a meeting this week that assessed the vulnerabilities of the country’s financial system, according to a statement posted on the bank’s website."



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U.S. granted BP license to operate joint North Sea field with Iran | Reuters

U.S. granted BP license to operate joint North Sea field with Iran | Reuters:

"BP and Iran's state-run oil company received a license from the U.S. Treasury last year to operate their joint gas field in the North Sea following the lifting of Western sanctions on Tehran, BP said on Thursday. Production at the Rhum field was suspended in 2010 when Europe imposed sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program and only resumed four years later after Britain agreed to set up a temporary management scheme whereby all revenue due to Tehran would be held until sanctions were lifted. Following the removal of European Union and United Nations sanctions on Iran in January 2016, the temporary management scheme ceased."



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UPDATE 1-Dubai's DSI to talk with banks about existing debt, new facilities -CEO | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Dubai's DSI to talk with banks about existing debt, new facilities -CEO | Reuters:

"Dubai's Drake & Scull International (DSI) plans to begin talks with banks in May about its existing debt and seek financial backing for new projects, Chief Executive Wael Allan told Reuters on Thursday.

The builder has sent non-disclosure agreements to its lenders and will continue to do so until mid-April, Allan said in a phone interview.

DSI aims to discuss the rescheduling of payments on existing debt in light of slower market conditions, and to seek support for its 2017-2021 business plan, he said."



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Kuwait Is Best Off, Nigeria Worst in Fitch's 2017 Oil Break-Even - Bloomberg

Kuwait Is Best Off, Nigeria Worst in Fitch's 2017 Oil Break-Even - Bloomberg:

"Kuwait’s in the best position of major oil exporting nations in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Europe to have a balanced government budget this year with oil forecast to average $52.50 a barrel, according to Fitch Ratings Ltd. Nigeria is worst off, needing an oil price of $139 a barrel to balance its budget, Fitch said in a April 5 report on 14 major oil exporting nations in the Middle East, Africa and emerging Europe. Even after cuts in government subsidies and currency devaluations, 11 of them won’t have balanced government budgets this year, including Saudi Arabia, it said. “Fiscal reforms and exchange rate adjustments are generally supporting improved fiscal positions compared to 2015, but have not prevented erosion of sovereign creditworthiness,” Fitch said."



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Saudi Aramco May Revive London's, Er, Glorious Past - Bloomberg Gadfly

Saudi Aramco May Revive London's, Er, Glorious Past - Bloomberg Gadfly:

"In her quest to help Britain "embrace the world," U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has been glad-handing in Saudi Arabia this week. One thing she likely hopes to do is lure Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco, to London for its hotly anticipated IPO. The presence of the London Stock Exchange's CEO in her delegation at least suggests the thought has crossed her mind.With valuation estimates ranging upward of $400 billion, floating even a sliver of Aramco could smash records. What better way to demonstrate to the world that Britannia still rules than landing the biggest-ever IPO?Having Aramco list in London would also bolster the U.K. government's line that Britain will emerge from the EU as some sort of global business and trading hub. Indeed, on that score, it would enhance an existing peculiarity of London -- if "enhance" is the right word."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai insurance rises on Q1 expectations, Gulf stocks mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai insurance rises on Q1 expectations, Gulf stocks mixed | Reuters:

"Gulf shares were marginally lower on Thursday amid caution from investors ahead of companies reporting first quarter results.

Dubai insurance companies made strong gains by the close, lifted by investor bets on good results from the sector and market speculation on consolidation.

Dar Al Takaful Insurance jumped 14.84 percent at the closing bell, while Dubai Islamic Insurance and Re-insurance was up 9.64 percent. Islamic Arab Insurance rose 3.21 percent."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks mixed, Dubai lifted by insurance sector | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks mixed, Dubai lifted by insurance sector | Reuters:

"Gulf shares were mixed on Thursday amid lacklustre trade as investors wait for earnings season, while insurance stocks lifted Dubai's index as investors bet on gains for the companies after a mandatory health insurance plan was enforced.

In Dubai, Dar Al Takaful insurance company led the gains, up 14.8 percent. Dubai Islamic Insurance was up 7.95 percent, as investors bet on stronger first-quarter earnings for the sector.

Dubai Health Authority announced at the end of March that 99 percent of residents are now covered by its new mandatory health insurance plan."



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Middle Eastern oil producers still have strong hand

Middle Eastern oil producers still have strong hand:

"Just as the oil market sags under the weight of excess supply and mounting inventories, a look beyond the horizon could present a somewhat different perspective. Opec’s leading producers, notably Saudi Arabia and its Middle East partners, now struggling to sustain the agreed output cuts to shore up prices, appear to be missing their target of balancing the market in 2017. The short-term outlook for Middle East oil therefore looks dim. The longer term, however, appears more promising. There is no doubt that the past decade has seen the position of Opec weakened by the growth of non-Opec sources of oil and gas, notably US shale and Canadian tar sands."



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Money spent in Dubai by overseas property investors declines 40% | The National

Money spent in Dubai by overseas property investors declines 40% | The National:

 "The amount of money spent by overseas investors in Dubai last year plummeted by more than 40 per cent compared with a year earlier as currency fluctuations hit Indian and British investors, prompting developers to slow housing completions. According to property broker Core Savills, the total amount of money invested in property by investors from outside the Arab region fell to Dh44 billion last year from Dh74.6bn in 2015. It found that the total number of non-Arab, non-GCC investors into Dubai fell 35 per cent to 22,834 in 2016 from 35,162 in 2015. Core Savills analysed Dubai Land Department data to show that the total amount of money spent by Indian investors on Dubai property fell 42 per cent last year to just Dh12bn from Dh20.8bn in 2015. The broker said that the total number of Indian investors buying property in Dubai fell 28 per cent to 6,263 in 2016 from 8,756 in 2015."



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Iran struggles to expand oil exports as sea storage cleared | Reuters

Iran struggles to expand oil exports as sea storage cleared | Reuters:

"Iran has sold all the oil it had stored for years at sea and Tehran is now struggling to keep exports growing as it grapples with production constraints, shipping and oil sources say.

Since the easing of international sanctions in January 2016, Iran tried to make up for lost sales by releasing millions of barrels parked on tankers offshore.

Tanker tracking and oil sources said Iran had sold its last stocks from the floating storage in the past two weeks. Much of the oil stored was condensate, a very light grade of crude."



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QIA's Santander Brasil offer prices below suggested tag: sources | Reuters

QIA's Santander Brasil offer prices below suggested tag: sources | Reuters:

"Qatar Investment Authority's sale on Wednesday of a 2.25 percent stake in Banco Santander Brasil SA priced below initial estimates, three people with direct knowledge of the deal said, reflecting the view that shares of Brazil's No. 4 listed lender remained expensive. According to the sources, who asked for anonymity because results of the deal are not public, investors agreed to pay 25 reais per unit of Santander Brasil (SANB11.SA) in the so-called restricted efforts offering. QIA and banks underwriting the deal had initially suggested a 27-real price tag, the people said. At 25 reais, QIA placed the entire 80 million units of Santander Brasil offered to domestic and global investors, the sources said. Investors, who initially balked at the suggested tag and pushed back for a lower price, placed bids worth between 2.5 times and three times the amount of units QIA had put on offer, the sources said."



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Qatar Sheikh Said to Use Margin Loan for Deutsche Bank Stake - Bloomberg

Qatar Sheikh Said to Use Margin Loan for Deutsche Bank Stake - Bloomberg:

"One of Deutsche Bank AG’s key Qatari shareholders is using a margin loan of about $1 billion, backed by the company’s stock, to fund his participation in the lender’s rights offer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bank of America Corp. structured and agreed to finance the loan to former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Hamad bin Jassim and the former emir of the country, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, have a combined stake of about 10 percent in Deutsche Bank, a level which they currently plan to maintain, the people said.

Representatives for Hamad bin Jassim’s office in Doha didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for Bank of America declined to comment."



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UPDATE 1-British PM, stock exchange chief woo Saudi sovereign fund | Reuters

UPDATE 1-British PM, stock exchange chief woo Saudi sovereign fund | Reuters:

"British Prime Minister Theresa May and the chief of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) pitched investments in Britain to the head of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund on Wednesday during a two-day visit to Riyadh. May, who left Riyadh later on Wednesday after talks with Saudi King Salman, discussed issues including security and trade with Britain's biggest Middle East trading partner, as the U.K. prepares to exit the European Union. May and Xavier Rolet presented Yasir al-Rumayyan of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) with a "high-level overview of investment opportunities," according to a spokesman for the prime minister's office."



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An Oil Giant Is Still Burning Through Its Cash Pile - Bloomberg

An Oil Giant Is Still Burning Through Its Cash Pile - Bloomberg:

"It was meant to be a given that a rebound in oil prices would slow the depletion of Saudi Arabia's foreign-currency reserves. That hasn't happened yet, and economists are wondering why. Net foreign assets held by the Saudi central bank have fallen by an average $6.5 billion a month over the past year, and now stand at just over $500 billion – having peaked at $737 billion in 2014 when oil prices were above $100 a barrel. The drop in January and February was $11.8 billion and $9.8 billion respectively, the latest data show."



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Oil Spread That Rules Trading Flow Seen Aiding OPEC's Rivals - Bloomberg

Oil Spread That Rules Trading Flow Seen Aiding OPEC's Rivals - Bloomberg:

"A crude-price spread that rules over the flow of supply to the world’s biggest oil market will probably favor producers outside the Middle East at least until OPEC meets next month. The premium of Brent, the benchmark for oil from Europe to Africa, over Middle East marker Dubai crude may stay between $1 and $1.50 a barrel during April and May, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 4 traders and an industry consultant. That’s more than 50 percent smaller than the average over the two months last year, data from PVM Oil Associates show."



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Gulf's $24 Billion Bond Bonanza Meets Cash Need in Cheap Oil Era - Bloomberg

Gulf's $24 Billion Bond Bonanza Meets Cash Need in Cheap Oil Era - Bloomberg:

"Middle East international bond sales are off to the strongest ever start to a year as borrower demand for funds outstrips the firepower of local banks in an era of depressed oil prices.

Hard-currency bond issuance from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which accounts for the bulk of the region’s capital markets and includes Saudi Arabia, its largest economy, more than quadrupled in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to Bloomberg data. In contrast, syndicated lending, traditionally the preferred source of capital for GCC borrowers, is having its worst year since 2010, declining 73 percent in the first three months of the year."



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